Introducing JUMPSCARECUT 2018

This October we’re excited to be sharing our teams favourite horrors, scary films and spooky stuff throughout the entire month! Each day we’ll be sharing a review from a member of a team, ranging from cult classics to modern horrors, and we’ll also be doing some spooky stuff over on Twitter!

We’ll be kicking off our month long event with Abbies’ review of Mandy tomorrow! Other films you can expect to see on our site this month include Halloween (both the original and upcoming sequel!), Hereditary, The Conjuring 2, Suspiria, Alien, and LOTS more.

If you’re diving into the world of horror this October, be sure to let us know!

JC Cover - Copy

October is going to be a very busy month here at JUMPCUT what with out London FIlm Festival and Grimmfest coverage alongside JUMPSCARECUT and the new releases heading our way this month. Be sure to keep an eye on our social feeds for all the latest from us, and don’t forget you can find us on Apple News and Flipboard!

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The Game Is Afoot In First ‘Holmes And Watson’ Trailer

“A humorous take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic mysteries featuring Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson.”

Directed by: Etan Cohen

Cast: Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Ralph Fiennes, Rebecca Hall, Kelly Macdonald

Release Date: December 26th, 2018

REVIEW: A Star is Born

Year: 2018
Directed by: Bradley Cooper
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga, Sam Elliott, Dave Chappelle, Anthony Ramos

Written by Cameron Frew

Bradley Cooper’s first stride into the world of directing is a peculiar choice from the outset: a remake, of a remake, of a remake. The tried, tested and availed formula clearly strikes a chord with audiences, but that shouldn’t be a factor to belittle this stunning achievement. Cooper’s rendition of ‘A Star Is Born’ is a remarkably powerful piece of work, conjuring up an onscreen pair that’ll be remembered for years to come, some killer music and a thematically shattering tale of fame that takes the film to another level beyond a singsong – we’re certainly far from the shallow now, we’re right in at the deep end.

Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper), a tinnitus suffering country music superstar, is slowly losing control of his life. He’s ignoring medical advice, he’s addicted to prescription drugs, and most and worst of all, he’s an alcoholic. His much older brother Bobby (Sam Elliot) runs errands for him as they travel the country performing gigs, pushing him to look after himself but constantly failing. One fateful evening after a typically lively concert, Jackson stumbles into a drag bar – BYOB (bring your own boobs) is the rule. As he takes a pew and enjoys a scarily hearty measure of gin, Ally (Lady Gaga) appears on stage. He’s utterly besotted by her performance of ‘La Vie En Rose’, and charms his way to striking up a conversation with her, sparking a chain of events that’ll bring about love, stardom, and devastation in equal measure.

Cooper, starring and directing, opens the film with a pulsating, rollicking gig sequence, tracking the camera on his back as he picks up his guitar and begins to rock out to the deafening noise of his adoring crowd. Just before he goes to play, he takes a couple of pills to see him through – of course the audience can’t see that, they’re just there to see their favourite star. Straight away we get to hear Jackson’s voice, full of soulful chords accompanied by some awesomely loud music and cementing Cooper’s talents, assuring you, the viewer, that he isn’t messing around. The audience is deafening, the music is deafening, they all cancel each other out – Cooper is purposely deaf to the calling of his own problems, his fans are too busy swooning adoration to really hear what he has to say, a mantra Jackson lives by.

We then switch to Ally in an echo-ridden bathroom cubicle, screaming in frustration at her boyfriend before strolling away poetically, and as the red titles fade in over the scene, the classiness washes over you – just like how Chazelle opened La La Land in vintage style, Cooper does too.

His direction here is absolutely remarkable for a debut feature. He knows when to spend time with a moment and drain it for all its emotional worth, and also when to move on. He’s also a co-writer alongside Eric Roth and Will Fetters, so the fact he’s pulled this off in so many ways is nothing short of extraordinary. It isn’t long before the inevitable couple meet, and Cooper illuminates the spark with keenly envisioned symbolism, employing different colours for different feelings on each of their faces. What is fantastically well done, is their personalities and opinions are clearly established – Jackson loves his job, appeases his fans regularly who, funnily, always call him by his full name. Ally is immensely talented, but bogged down by a widespread lack of belief and hurtful comments about her appearance. The writing for the pair’s initial tango is so delicate, providing many laughs but also managing to be cutesy without crossing that dangerous line (there are a very small handful of moments that are a little corny). It isn’t exactly a spoiler to say what the film is really about; Jackson is so impressed by Ally’s singing and songwriting abilities, and wants to see her take a chance. Their relationship moves at a breakneck speed, but in the heat of the drunken air and the neon light, why shouldn’t they be allowed to fall for each other?

And that’s the thing – Cooper’s ‘A Star Is Born’ is very much a product of its time. With the omniscience of the internet and the capacity for everything to be filmed on a phone, a chance encounter in this day and age can equal fame, and the film smartly never plays down its reality in favour of distasteful theatrics. There are some damning musings on present-day stardom and the culture that surrounds it, as well as the treatment of mental health issues today. So as much as you’re drawn to the flick to hear Gaga singing her heart out, there’s a thick-skinned, dramatic heft that carries a heavy punch. For much of the running time, Cooper spends time up close with the characters, reading their facial expressions for the slightest ticks, the most minor of changes, almost letting you get to know them as the minutes fly by. You’ll cherish every second of profound character development as much as the singing.

Then again, the singing is mesmerising. The first performance of the soon-to-be-hit song, ‘Shallow’, is a perfect experience. When Ally grabs hold of the microphone with two hands and blasts out that time-stopping note, the goosebumps will wash over you like a tidal wave of kaleidoscopic emotion. Every sense in your body feels awake, feels alive, like you’re glowing with untamable joy. Overall, Gaga’s performance is fantastic, compelling whether she’s on stage or off, managing to bring an unforeseen realism despite her worldwide popstar origins, and proving her competency as a terrific actress further. But Cooper is magnificent. Very brave to put yourself out there alongside an artist as talented as Gaga, but he holds his own and will likely melt hearts with his country tones. But what’s most impressive is how he restrains Jackson’s inner struggle so heart-breakingly throughout, confiding and fighting with his brother (a turn from Elliot that oozes gravitas), while finding sanctuary in the arms of his wife in the face of his affliction – he’s not portrayed as an abusive, reckless rockstar, he’s just a man who’s led himself astray and can’t find his way back home.

The camera does have a tendency to keep moving all the time, whether it’s embodying the energetic spirit of a gig, or gently moving around the facial expressions of our lead couple. But it’s never so abrupt or grating it feels like a problem, rather, it just feels passionately fizzing with life. Some of the cinematography here is truly great, with Matthew Libatique’s evocative work shining in the grand stage scenes and hurting in moments of anguish – there are shots that’ll stay with you for a long time. The first half of the movie may hit some beats you’ll likely expect, but the second half will knock you for six, diving deep into the aftermath of lovesick decisions, all before reaching a devastating conclusion.

Despite the pain and the many, many tears, this is a film that demands an immediate revisit as soon as the credits roll. Cooper has landed a masterpiece on his first go. You could say, a star is born.

CAMERON’S RATING:

5

REVIEW: Madeline’s Madeline

Year: 2018
Directed by: Josephine Decker
Cast: Helena Howard, Molly Parker, Miranda July

Review by Fernando Andrade

Be sure to give Fernando’s YouTube channel a follow whilst you’re here for more genuine and insightful film reviews and video essays!

LFF 2018: Arctic

Year: 2018
Directed by: Joe Penna
Cast: Mads Mikkelsen, Maria Thelma Smáradóttir

Screening at LFF: 11th, 12th, & 17th October
General UK Release: TBA

Written by Sarah Buddery

Tucked away towards the back of the LFF programme, you’ll often find some of the best off-the-radar hidden gems, and Arctic is one of those films. The first feature from director Joe Penna would perhaps go entirely unnoticed were it not for the fact that it stars Mads Mikkelsen.

We meet Overgård (Mikkelsen), seemingly the only survivor of a plane crash in the arctic tundra. Unclear how long he has been stranded for, we see him embarking on a strict routine to survive the harsh environment; catching fish and desperately attempting to send out a radio signal. When a helicopter appears, hope of rescue soon turns into an even tougher battle for survival as he attempts to save the critically injured co-pilot (Smáradóttir), similarly the only survivor of her accident.

Arctic is a stripped back survival story, executed to perfection. The arctic backdrop provides the harshest of settings, and the limited cast does a stunning job of demonstrating the very best example of human endurance, facing the insurmountable odds in order to survive. This paired back approach and naturalistic style ensures that film manages to neatly avoid survival movie clichés and contrivances, and this is admirably handled by director Joe Penna.

The dialogue is almost as sparse as the landscape itself, and huge credit goes to the one man show that is Mads Mikkelsen for his deeply resonating performance. His co-star is incapacitated for the entirety of the film, and he carries the weight of the film expertly, saying so much by saying so little and emoting the impossibility of their journey with perfect subtlety and physicality. From the opening frame to the closing moments, we are invested in this character and that is essential in making a film this dialogue-light work. Mikkelsen’s performance is every bit as committed as Leonardo DiCaprio’s in ‘The Revenant’ but sadly, the former is unlikely to get the same awards attention.

At times quiet and meditative, this film explores the very human need for interaction, and the frankly superhuman way a body can endure conditions and situations beyond comprehension. At other times it is thrilling, with some genuine moments of shock and tension that will have you on the edge of your seat. In what will simply be dubbed as the 127 Hours moment (although admittedly nowhere near as graphic), you’ll find yourself wincing and there’s plenty more uncomfortable moments like this scattered throughout.

With breath-taking scenery and a story that will leave you utterly breathless, Arctic may very well be one of the sleeper hits of the festival. With a stunning central performance from Mads Mikkelsen, a captivatingly stripped-back narrative, and accomplished direction, Arctic is a film well worth seeking out.

Sarah’s Rating:

4-5

The Arctic is available in cinemas and on digital HD early 2019

Robin Becomes The Hood In New ‘Robin Hood’ Trailer

“Robin of Loxley (Taron Egerton) a war-hardened Crusader and his Moorish commander (Jamie Foxx) mount an audacious revolt against the corrupt English crown in a thrilling action-adventure packed with gritty battlefield exploits, mind-blowing fight choreography, and a timelessromance.”

Directed by: Otto Bathurst

Cast: Taron Egerton, Ben Mendelsohn, Jamie Foxx, Jamie Dornan, Tim Minchin, Eve Hewson

Release Date: November 23rd, 2018

Jean Begins To Lose Control In The First ‘Dark Phoenix’ Trailer

“In DARK PHOENIX, the X-MEN face their most formidable and powerful foe: one of their own, Jean Grey. During a rescue mission in space, Jean is nearly killed when she is hit by a mysterious cosmic force. Once she returns home, this force not only makes her infinitely more powerful, but far more unstable. Wrestling with this entity inside her, Jean unleashes her powers in ways she can neither comprehend nor contain. With Jean spiraling out of control, and hurting the ones she loves most, she begins to unravel the very fabric that holds the X-Men together. Now, with this family falling apart, they must find a way to unite — not only to save Jean’s soul, but to save our very planet from aliens who wish to weaponize this force and rule the galaxy.”

Directed by: Simon Kinberg

Cast: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Alexandra Shipp, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Evan Peters, and Jessica Chastain

Release Date: February 14th, 2019

Brand New ‘Creed II’ Trailer Teases The Creed v Drago Showdown

“Life has become a balancing act for Adonis Creed. Between personal obligations and training for his next big fight, he is up against the challenge of his life. Facing an opponent with ties to his family’s past only intensifies his impending battle in the ring. Rocky Balboa is there by his side through it all and, together, Rocky and Adonis will confront their shared legacy, question what’s worth fighting for, and discover that nothing’s more important than family. Creed II is about going back to basics to rediscover what made you a champion in the first place, and remembering that, no matter where you go, you can’t escape your history.”

Directed by: Steven Caple Jr.

Cast: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad, Wood Harris, Andre Ward, Florian “The Big Nasty” Munteanu, Dolph Lundgren, Russell Hornsby

Release Date: November 30th, 2018

LFF 2018: The Breaker Upperers

Year: 2018
Directed by: Madeleine Sami & Jackie van Beek
Starring: Madeleine Sami, Jackie van Beek, James Rolleston, Celina Pacquola 

Screening at LFF: 11th, 12th, & 15th October
General UK Release: TBA

Written by Sarah Buddery 

New Zealand has been providing us with some of the best off-beat comedy for years now. First the comedy-folk stylings of ‘Flight of the Conchords’ (aka Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement), and more recently Taika Waititi; the kiwi director who went from indie to the big-time, recently directing ‘Thor: Ragnarok’.

The Breaker Upperers‘, from dynamic directing, writing, and acting duo Madeleine Sami and Jackie van Beek, is definitely cut from the same cloth, and fans of Waititi’s off-kilter and quirky comedy will find themselves comfortably at home in the company of Mel and Jen, the so-called ‘Breaker Upperers’ of the film’s title. Mel (Sami) and Jen (van Beek) run a business in which they assist people in ending their relationships through scenarios ranging from ‘the other woman’ to ‘missing person’.

With characters that are equal parts abhorrent and charming, and treading the fine-line between witless and witty, ‘The Breaker Upperers‘ is heart-warming, rambunctious, whip-smart and utterly delightful. At a pacey 80-something minutes, it absolutely zips along. Sami and van Beek have believable and endearing chemistry and their genuine friendship is something which provides a constant grounding for the various hijinks along the way.

Perhaps the most “Waititi-esque” thing about this film is the side characters, who manage to almost steal the show. The hapless Jordan (played by James Rolleston, who also featured in Waititi’s ‘Boy‘) delivers one of the funniest lines of any film this year whilst in the car with his mother and Mel, and the feisty Ana Scotney as Sepa absolutely shines in every scene she has. Familiar faces also crop up with Hunt for the Wilderpeople’s Rima Te Wiata cutting a caricatural figure as Jen’s coke-sniffing mother, and the aforementioned Flight of the Conchords’ Jemaine Clement playing a Tinder date (genuinely he is credited as that).

This is, however, Madeleine Sami and Jackie van Beek’s show; the powerhouse pairing acting, writing and the directing the hell out of this film. Its commentary on expectations of women, particularly in relationships is wonderfully well observed, and the delivery and execution of the comedy is played to perfection. These are certainly two to watch, and it would be great to see them break out of the indie circuit like Waititi.

‘The Breaker Upperers’ is a little gem of a movie, outrageous yet endearing, hilarious yet heart-warming, and with some star-making performances. As with any comedy, it might not tick all the boxes for everyone, and in fact, the jokes sometimes wear a little on the thin side heading towards the final act, but fans of the ‘Conchords’, and of course Waititi will find much to love here.

SARAH’S RATING:

4